UP Catholic 10 28 2016 E Edition Page 10

10 October 28, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Monsignor Michael Steber & Father Aaron Nowicki The parishioners of St. Peter Cathedral are blessed to have such dedicated servants of God caring for our spiritual lives. Thank you! Monsignor Kaczmarek Friends at Immaculate Conception Iron Mountain On this Priesthood Sunday, thank you for standing firm on the teachings of God and by your homilies making us more aware of our responsibility for our actions and decisions to follow God's teaching in our everyday living. We are blessed that you tell us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear in your quest to get all of our souls to heaven! May the good Lord continue to bless you in your ministry. L ike Shelby Footes three-volume mas- terpiece, The Civil War: A Narrative, Francis Parkmans seven-volume co- lossus, France and England in North America, is worth reading and re-reading for its literary elegance as well as its historical in- sight. Parkman, like Foote, wrote history from a point of view: in Parkmans case, the Whiggish convic- tion that, when Wolfe defeat- ed Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham in 1759, North America was won for liberty against popish authoritari- anism. Yet, again like Foote, the elegiac southerner who recognized Lincolns great- ness, Parkman was bigger than his point-of-view and could thus celebrate the heroism of the 17th-century Jesuits martyred in the raw wilderness of the New World. Re-reading the last volume of Parkmans massive work, I was struck, however, not by the Bostonians occasional historiographic dyspepsia, but by his keen insight into the future. Here, in the late-19th century, was a man who had spent decades chronicling the pre-history of the United States. Yet at the very end of it all, he turned his mind to the challenges ahead of his country, and did so in ways worth pondering today. The prose is a bit old-fashioned, but the message is spot-on contemporary in this election season: The disunited colonies became the United States. The string of discordant communi- ties along the Atlantic coast has grown into a mighty people, joined in a union which the earthquake of civil war only served to compact and consolidate [Americans] have become a nation that may defy every foe but that most dangerous of foes, herself, destined to a majestic future if she will shun the excess and perversion of the principles that made her great, prate less about the enemies of the past and strive more against the enemies of the future, resist the mob and the demagogue as she resisted Parliament and King, rally her powers from the race for gold and the deliri- um of prosperity to make firm the foundations on which that prosperity rests, and turn some fair proportion of her vast mental forces to other objects than material progress and the game of party politics. She has tamed the savage continent, peopled the solitude, gath- ered wealth untold, waxed potent, imposing, redoubtable; and now it remains for her to prove, if she can, that the rule of the masses is consistent with the highest growth of the individual; that democracy can give the world a civilization as mature and pregnant, ideas as energetic and vitalizing, and types of man- hood as lofty and strong, as any of the systems which it boasts to supplant. For some years now, courageous Catholic bishops in these United States have been issu- ing a similar challenge: to avoid a perversion of the principles on which American de- mocracy rests a deterioration that reduces freedom to willfulness; to resist the mob and the demagogue, when the people fall for the blandishments of the sound bite and embrace candidates unworthy of public office; to see in the American democratic experiment some- thing more than the race for gold; and to live the truths of Catholic social doctrine in order to make firm the foundations on which prosperity rests. In doing all this, these bishops have fol- lowed the lead of the Second Vatican Council by calling their people to live freedom nobly, not as self-indulgence but as a method of responsibility. Theirs has been a genuinely public service, for in challenging U.S. Catho- lics to give our country a new birth of freedom rightly understood, these bishops have called the entire country to reclaim the principles that made her great, including those princi- ples that the social doctrine calls the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity. For their pains, these bishops are now derid- ed in some quarters as culture-warriors. Its a title that St. Augustine, St. Charles Borromeo, and St. John Paul II (in his days as archbish- op of Cracow) would have regarded as an apt description of their responsibilities when faced with cultural aggressions of various sorts. But the real term for the American bishops who have issued a challenge similar to Francis Parkmans is another that could be applied to Augustine, Borromeo, and Wojtyla: confessor a synonym for defenders of the faith. For the faith includes the truth about the human person and human communities, which nations ignore at their peril. THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE George Weigel They're confessors, not 'culture-warriors' THEIRS HAS BEEN A GENUINELY PUBLIC SERVICE, FOR IN CHALLENGING U.S. CATHOLICS TO GIVE OUR COUNTRY A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD, THESE BISHOPS HAVE CALLED THE ENTIRE COUNTRY TO RECLAIM THE "PRINCIPLES THAT MADE HER GREAT OUR ADVERTISERS ARE A BLESSING! If you aren't able to visit them this week, please pray for the success of their business. They help spread the Good News of the risen Christ with their advertising dollars.

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